How to Use Hydraulic Car Jacks

by Editorial Team

Unlike traditional screw jacks that are manipulated with long cranks, hydraulic car jacks use high-pressure liquid displacement to lift cars. If employed properly, hydraulic car jacks are easy to use for most people and provide more power than ordinary, mechanical screw jacks.

Step 1

Locate the jacking point, which is usually found about one foot behind or in front of the wheel on which you are working. Check your owner's manual if you have trouble locating it.

Step 2

Stack the plywood and place the stack on the ground where you plan to use the hydraulic jack.

Step 3

Set the jack on a stable point on the plywood stack.

Step 4

Loosen the wheel you plan to work on before you jack up the car. Otherwise, the force you will exert to loosen the wheel may cause the jack to tip over.

Step 5

Release the locking mechanism located on the hydraulic jack handle. This mechanism allows you to lock the handle safely when it's not in use.

Step 6

Jack up the car by operating the lever on the hydraulic jack. Move the lever or jack handle up and down to raise the car about 1 1/2 inches off the ground.

Step 7

Place the jack stand under the axle-stand point underneath the car but never under the axle itself. Check the owner's manual if you are not sure where the axle-stand points are located.

Step 8

Remove the jack stand when you are finished working on the car.

Step 9

Lower the car until the jack is no longer supporting its weight.

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